BUSINESS STRATEGY

Ready Capital Small Business Lending Scales Up with LenderAI

Ready Capital & LenderAI | May 10, 2022

Ready Capital Small Business Lending
Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) ("Ready Capital" or the "Company")  announced another Company record for small loan closings (loans from $10,000 to $350,000) funding over fifty-five (55) SBA 7(a) small loans in April. The Company attributes this success and continuous growth to using a technology platform called LenderAI by iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness Funding"), which is now available to all lenders.

"LenderAI has enabled us to scale up and support the smallest businesses, a key objective for us,"Traditionally, it has been extremely difficult to scale SBA 7(a) operations, especially for lower loan amounts offered to the smallest businesses. This was the perfect opportunity to employ iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology."

-John Moshier, President of Small Business Lending at Ready Capital.

Ready Capital's Small Loan Lending program has gone from funding 84 loans in 2021 to 150+ loans in the first four months of this year. This growth has been enabled by iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology, a full suite of tools including digital application flow as well as automated decisioning, origination, underwriting and closing, all in a convenient and user-friendly platform.

"Our core mission when expanding the SBA small loan program was to help the smallest businesses, making affordable lending available to support economic development and underserved communities, enderAI has enabled our 7(a) small loan products. The technology platform allows us to process loans for smaller businesses, who have fewer capital options, by digitizing their documents and inputs, giving them access to capital while allowing them to stay focused on their businesses." 

-Justin Levy, President of Ready Capital Small Balance Lending

We believe our LenderAI technology has drastically improved document collection and processing, streamlining both the borrower and lender experience, said Katy Forte Seybold, iBusiness Funding Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy. We're thrilled Ready Capital has successfully leveraged our LenderAI technology and we're hoping many more lenders will for all loan sizes. There's little risk to trying it out, with bank level security, flexible core platform integrations and, for a limited time, it's free to try with no implementation fees.

Ready Capital continues breaking company records with a focus on the smallest and most underserved borrowers. iBusiness Funding is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ready Capital.

About iBusiness Funding, LLC
iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness"), established in 2015 and acquired by Ready Capital Corporation in 2019, is a technology Software and Services Provider that provides small business lending solutions to financial institutions. Over 130,000 loans have been funded through iBusiness' technology amounting to more than $6 billion.

About Ready Capital Corporation 
Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) is a multi-strategy real estate finance company that originates, acquires, finances and services small to medium balance commercial loans. Ready Capital specializes in loans backed by commercial real estate, including agency multifamily, investor and bridge as well as SBA 7(a) business loans. Headquartered in New York, New York, Ready Capital employs over 600 professionals nationwide. The company is externally managed and advised by Waterfall Asset Management, LLC.

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Other News
MANAGEMENT

Novo Launches Boost for Faster E-Commerce Payments; Hires Kevin Phillips as EVP of Lending

Novo | May 23, 2022

Novo, the powerfully simple financial platform for small businesses, announced that the company has brought on Kevin Phillips, former CFO at small business lending company Kabbage, to launch and scale Novo’s lending business. Today, Novo is also launching Boost, making it the only financial platform that gives small businesses and freelancers same day access to payments received through e-commerce platforms.Introducing Novo Boost “While some fintech companies and banks claim to offer instant payouts, we saw that the market is filled with solutions that come with significant fees, or serve well-established corporations instead of the millions of small business owners and freelancers that would benefit most from faster payments, Novo Boost is free, and will be available to all Novo customers that process payments via Stripe — from the growing e-commerce store that employs 10 people to the freelance photographer who uses Stripe for her invoicing.” -Michael Rangel, CEO and co-founder of Novo. Small businesses often struggle to manage their cash flow because of a lack of credit, late customer payments or high fee banking services tailored towards enterprises. The technology behind Boost releases funds into a user’s Novo account shortly after a transaction is approved by the payment processor, as opposed to waiting as long as five days for the funds to be accessible. To take advantage of Boost, small businesses can create a free checking account at novo.co, and once approved, integrate with Stripe from within the Novo website or mobile apps. Novo can approve accounts within two days, and customers can set up the Novo integration with Stripe immediately. Novo plans on launching Boost on additional platforms over the next year. To learn more, visit www.novo.co/pd/lp-1. Announcing Kevin Phillips As Novo looks at its next stage of growth, we’re taking the small-business-centric principles that we used to design our award-winning checking account, and creating a financial platform that brings incredible functionality and user friendliness to all aspects of small business finance,” said Rangel. “That’s why we’re thrilled to bring on Kevin Phillips, a true pioneer in the small business lending space who developed one of the world’s most successful lending platforms from the ground up. As EVP of Lending at Novo, Kevin will create lending products that truly put small businesses first. Phillips is a world-renowned senior executive with a record of building high-growth start-ups as well as leading large, complex organizations. In 2011, Phillips was one of the first executives to join the Kabbage team, and over a decade built the company into one of the world’s most successful small business lending platforms. During his tenure at Kabbage, Phillips held multiple leadership positions, including CTO, CFO, and Head of Corporate Development. Prior to Kabbage, Phillips held C-level roles at a number of fast-growing technology startups, including CEO of Support Center Technologies and ZapMedia, COO and CFO at Scientific Intake, and CIO at S1. Phillips received his MBA from Georgia State University. “Virtually every small business fintech company markets themselves as being ‘great’ for their customers, but very few are successful in building out products and services that stay true to their mission,” commented Phillips. “Novo is one of the rare exceptions. The company already has a history of finding innovative, business-friendly ways to improve cash flow, and I look forward to expanding these cashflow-improving efforts in the coming years.” Phillips joins Novo at a time of significant growth for the company. Novo has surpassed $8 billion in lifetime small business transactions. Over the last year, Novo has also raised more than $130 million from leading fintech investors like Stripes Group and Valar Ventures, and added more than 100,000 new small business customers. About Novo Novo Platform, Inc. (“Novo”) is the powerfully simple checking account and financial technology platform built for small businesses. To learn more, visit www.novo.co. Novo Boost and early availability of funds are governed by the program terms and conditions outlined here. Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. is a federal savings bank and an FDIC-insured depository institution (FDIC Certificate 28368). Deposits made at Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. through the Novo platform receive FDIC insurance protection on a pass-through basis up to the applicable legal limit. When determining the amount of your deposits covered by FDIC insurance, please note all deposits you make through the Novo platform will be aggregated with all deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. and Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. brands. Additional information regarding FDIC insurance coverage is available at www.fdic.gov.

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MANAGEMENT

Nuula prioritizes small business owners' wellness with new app features

Nuula | May 18, 2022

Nuula, a fintech company focused on providing small businesses the tools and the capital they need to succeed, announced an initiative to help small business owners improve their overall mental and physical well-being. In partnership with Walnut, Nuula's new wellness feature gives small business owners access to life insurance, plus meditation programs and online fitness classes, all for as little as $9/month. Nuula's focus on the entrepreneur's well-being, in addition to business performance, was driven by insights into how personal stress is affecting small business owners, especially with the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Capital One survey found that 45% of small business owners report that running a business during the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental well-being, and 42% say they are currently experiencing burnout or have experienced it within the past month. "For a small business owner and entrepreneur, work and life are inextricably linked, which is why it is so important to provide support for both, Nuula is taking a new approach to small business financial services by focusing not only on the needs of the business but also on the needs of the small business owner." -Mark Ruddock, CEO at Nuula. Nuula's new health and wellness feature offers access to guided meditation, sleep guides, and mental focus programs through Headspace Plus and online fitness programs through ClassPass Digital. The programs are paired with $10k-$50k of Life Insurance to give small business owners peace of mind. The new feature sits atop of Nuula's existing portfolio of small business tools, including financial health tracking, cash-flow forecasting, 24/7 credit monitoring, as well as updates on rating and reviews, all available in the Nuula app. "Nuula is taking a forward-looking approach to the needs of small businesses, by embedding tools that match the holistic needs of its customers, Mental and physical health are paramount to entrepreneurial success. Walnut is proud to help Nuula empower business owners by allowing them to easily access health and wellness offerings within Nuula's existing ecosystem of critical financial tools." -Derek Szeto, Co-founder and CEO of Walnut Starting today, Nuula users can sign up for a health and wellness membership that includes group life insurance and subscriptions from ClassPass and Headspace. About Nuula Nuula is building the future of small business performance. Launched in 2021, Nuula is a financial services and technology company focused on serving the small to medium-sized business community. Nuula provides real-time data and analytics, allowing businesses to manage their finances, monitor their credit ratings and user reviews, and more. Nuula is an advocate of financial inclusivity and a proud partner to Kiva to create economic and social good. To learn more about Nuula, visit www.nuula.com About Walnut Founded in 2020, Walnut is a Canadian and US insurtech that has built infrastructure to enable multiple lines of embedded insurance for brokers, employers, and financial services coupled with value added benefits from international brands. Walnut's platform makes insurance simple and convenient – creating greater accessibility for underserved audiences. Learn more about Walnut at www.gowalnut.com/businesses.

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TECHNOLOGY

Switcher, Inc. Launches Shopify Solution for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses to Drive Video Commerce Sales through Shoppable Livestreams

Switcher, Inc. | June 10, 2022

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As live selling continues to grow in popularity, small and mid-sized businesses are looking for ways to tap into this new sales channel to not only drive revenue but expand their customer base by reaching new audiences on social media. “Our goal at Switcher is to change the way video gets made and empower small and mid-sized businesses to take ownership of creating video that drives sales, With live selling expected to generate $35 billion in sales by 2024, we wanted to create a video commerce solution that generates revenue, creates repeat buyers, and empowers small business owners to have the tools they need to compete with national and international brands.” -Nick Mattingly, CEO and Co-Founder, Switcher Studio Cartr simplifies the live selling process by allowing businesses to connect Switcher to their Shopify store to effortlessly manage inventory for their shoppable streams and deliver a seamless customer experience every time an in-stream purchase is made. 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Streamlining inventory management: Retailers will decide which Shopify product collections they’d like to promote during their Facebook livestream, and Cartr and Shopify will manage inventory in one location, eliminating the hassle of multiple product catalogs. “Our business has been live selling since early 2021, We have been amazed by how easy the new Cartr app in Shopify makes live selling for boutique owners like us. Cartr makes it quicker to set up and integrate product collections from Shopify, with products magically showing up when we are ready to go live! When viewers comment on our Facebook Live Shopping events, the Cartr chatbot makes checkout so simple. We expect our customer base and sales to grow even further with Cartr. Live selling is a new sales channel that we are excited to continue investing in.” -Britney Renbarger, Owner of Pink Tag. Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform developed for entrepreneurs to start, manage, or grow their businesses. Shopify serves creators and merchants in more than 175 countries and provides the building blocks needed to succeed in video commerce. To utilize the Cartr chatbot and create collections of products to use in your videos, businesses will need to have an existing Shopify store and install the Cartr plugin from the Shopify app store. Merchants will then start streaming live video to their Facebook Business Page using the companion app, Switcher Studio. The Switcher Studio iOS app can be accessed from the Apple App Store. Businesses will need an iOS device (iPhone or iPad). For additional support or resources, please visit the Switcher Studio Help Center. To see a live demo of Cartr by Switcher Studio, tune into Switcher’s Facebook and YouTube livestream on June 7, 2022, at 1 p.m. EDT. About Switcher, Inc. and Switcher Studio Founded in 2014, Switcher, Inc. helps creators and businesses produce videos more easily and affordably through its multicamera production software, Switcher Studio. Switcher Studio lets users sync multiple iOS devices to capture video content from many perspectives—to tell stories, showcase products, and more. And its real-time video editing features to ensure that content is dynamic and polished. Plus, Switcher's integrations with streaming platforms and video conferencing tools allow creators and brands to reach their communities nearly anywhere. The tech startup, based in Louisville, Kentucky, and Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, employs 40+ team members. For more information, visit switcherstudio.com or download the Switcher Studio app.

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FINANCE,BUSINESS STRATEGY

"PAY WITH SYNCHRONY" APP LAUNCHES AS FIRST COMBINED PRIVATE LABEL AND BNPL FINANCING SOLUTION AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESS VIA CLOVER®

Synchrony | July 15, 2022

Synchrony (NYSE: SYF), a leading consumer financing company, announced that merchants will now be able to offer a short-term, no interest installment option, Synchrony SetPay pay in 4, via the Clover® point-of-sale and business management system from Fiserv, Inc. This buy now, pay later (BNPL) offering will further expand the reach of Synchrony's innovative payments and financing options and enable select merchants that use Clover to accelerate growth while providing more choice and flexibility for consumers – especially at the point of sale.With more than one-third of shoppers stating they are more likely to seek additional financing options now versus two years ago,1 ⁠Synchrony's SetPay pay in 4 installments offering provides customers with the ability to make four equal, interest-free payments for purchases typically between $40 and $500 with the first payment due at checkout. The offering will be part of the Pay with Synchrony app available on the Clover App Market for participating merchants using any Clover device. This app will be the first time that a combined private label credit card and a BNPL solution will be available to small small businesses via Clover.Rad Air Complete Car Care & Tire Centers, an Ohio-based car and tire servicing franchise, is implementing SetPay to offer customers a simple and flexible way to finance purchases with predictable, equal payments over a set period of time. Rad Air has worked with Synchrony since 2014 as a member of the Synchrony Car Care™ network, which helped them build a loyal customer following and increase sales volume. "We trust Synchrony to partner with us every step of the way to offer an innovative customer experience as consumer behaviors evolve, It's a game changer to be able to offer BNPL at point of sale in our shop. We now have everything we need on the Clover device to offer customers more financing and payment solutions that fit their needs and get them back on the road quickly." -Bill Snow, VP of Rad Air Franchise Systems. "The next important opportunity in payments is the ability to offer choice of diverse products and solutions. SetPay pay in 4 on Clover builds on Synchrony's growth strategy to extend our products to more customers through more distribution channels," said Florin Arghirescu, SVP, Chief Product Officer, Synchrony. "Accessing SetPay pay in 4 in the Clover App Market can help small businesses grow their customer base and offer the right financing solutions at the right time." "Small businesses operate in a competitive environment in which their customers expect to have multiple payment options anywhere they shop, As consumer adoption of buy-now-pay-later continues to grow, it's important that Clover can provide businesses with simplified access to these flexible payments solutions, including offerings like Synchrony's SetPay pay in 4." -Dan Bjerke, head of Clover from Fiserv Synchrony offers a broad suite of revolving credit and installment loan options in a variety of channels, including SetPay pay in 4, SetPay monthly installment loans for up to 84 months, and a variety of equal payment solutions offered through revolving credit programs. About Synchrony Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering one of the industry's most complete digitally-enabled product suites. Our experience, expertise and scale encompass a broad spectrum of industries including digital, health and wellness, retail, telecommunications, home, auto, powersports, pet and more. We have an established and diverse group of national and regional retailers, local merchants, manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare service providers, which we refer to as our "partners." We connect our partners and consumers through our dynamic financial ecosystem and provide them with a diverse set of financing solutions and innovative digital capabilities to address their specific needs and deliver seamless, omnichannel experiences. We offer the right financing products to the right customers in their channel of choice. For more information, visit www.synchrony.com and Twitter: @Synchrony.

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Spotlight

QuickBooks or Excel, Cash or Accrual. Those are the questions a lot of small business owners face when  launching their new shiny venture. Jason Watson, CPA, of WCG Inc. (formerly the Watson CPA Group) takes you through deciding on which accounting platform to use (Bench.co, QBO, Waveapps, Xero, etc.), chart of accounts, the purpose of financial statements, cash versus accrual accounting, and time and billing systems.

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